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Pagan: Ultima VIII (DOS)

76
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Indra is here (19677)
Written on  :  Apr 07, 2004
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

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Summary

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

The Good

*2nd update. Minor changes, hated the last One-line Summary.

When I say this, I probably would speak for all Ultima fans: WE DID NOT EXPECT THIS. Which isn't really a problem, only that statement was meant in a bad way. But, I'll explain that in the "didn't like part".

Actually the game isn't bad really, quite good actually although I never thought in my worst nightmares that Ultima would actually have an action version...aaaaaaaah!

Anyway, better graphics, better sound, more complex, more everything. The key here is realism...they made a good job out of that (although the Ultima fans might disagree...I'm one of them).

I must admit though, that the combat is very much entertaining. Not much strategy in the combat though, just click-click-click. The magic is more complex, more variations. Pagan has more variations and is more complex than its ancestors in addition to much detailed animations.

The Bad

Although personally I like the game, I am obligated as a hardcore Ultima fan to say this: OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! WHAT HAVE THOU DONE?" (Repeat as many times as possible) - which is basically the essence of all the other reviews...

Change is usually good. No one is really against change, especially when it comes to Ultima. They made a brilliant change from Ultima V to Ultima VI. Now, they tried challenge tradition again. But this time at least to my opinion.

They really did a good job in making Ultima Pagan, but they failed big time in the most important things. They failed the fans and they failed the Avatar.

Everyone loved the Ultima VI-VII game engine. We were used to it and we still weren't bored of it. We loved the story, we loved the characters in the game, we loved the ideals and morals in the game...and they took it all away with this new concept.

I have never "felt" so alone and lonely playing a Ultima game. I always thought that you'd be stuck forever with Iolo, Shamino and Dupre...even if it reached Ultima 100. The game is playable, but I probably experienced a "gaming cultural shock". I experienced the same thing while playing Ultima VII...knowing Merry the Mouse couldn't join the party. Well, now they've totally screwed it by eliminating all team members.

This would be a great game if it was a standalone. But it's not. It's part of the Ultima Series, the Legend...and they ruined the legend - The Avatar without a Soul. Now I'm really depressed. :p

Now combat was a major dissapointment for any RPG fan. Probably because the combat DOESN'T EXIST! Combat like I said in this game is - Click, Click, Click. Who thought of THAT incredibly stupid idea. No strategy whatsoever. Every monster you see is "click'em" to death. If only there were a "block or parry" button with it...

The Bottom Line

ULTIMATE CULTURE SHOCK (valid only for hardcore Ultima fans). A great game really, especially if your not familiar with Ultima.